NEWSFLASH: Your words are building the capabilities or the disabilities of the people around you.
"Wow have you lost weight?"
“You look so much better, what are you doing?"
“omg you are so skinny!!"
Weight loss can be addictive.
Because the VALIDATION of that weight loss is addictive.
Years ago when I lost weight everyone around me affirmed my new physique. At first, I was in it for the health! (sound familiar?) Before long, the intention shifted to getting smaller, and smaller, and smaller. Because hey, everyone seemed to like this version of me way better! What they were actually affirming was the highly restrictive, disordered eating that got me there. And with every new compliment about my abs, I felt myself becoming more shackled to them.
Their words helped me develop a fear of breaking those habits. I was TERRIFIED to lose the validation I had just gained, regardless of how I got it.
This is the same story I hear from my clients every day.
Just last week I ended up facebook stalking a client from 10 years ago, and there it was: comment after comment about her weight posted on almost every single image. These comments were jokes, something you would think someone could brush off their shoulder, but most people don't. These comments start to form the internal narrative that consistently confirms the insecurities within you.
The way you validate someone determines the value they see in themselves.
The weight loss that you are encouraging could have been caused by hours of cardio, avoiding social events, unsustainable fad diets, or even chronic sickness.
If the best way you can compliment someone is by their body, GET TO KNOW THEM BETTER or keep your mouth shut.
If the best way you are complimented is by your body, pay attention to what you are advertising. If you want to be known for your heart for others but you spend the majority of your energy perfecting your body, your core values and your output are not aligned.
“You seem whole” is better than “you look thin”
And if you’re working with a coach that says “good job” when you lose weight and “work harder” when you don’t, take a step back and assess that value.
FREAKIN DIET CULTURE.